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Sports

January 13, 2013

Post Presence: Area missing dunkers

DUNCAN — Every Monday during the high school basketball season, I take a moment to look at the week that was for area teams.

As far as the scoreboard is concerned, they are only worth two points. Anybody who watches high school basketball, though, knows a well-timed dunk can be worth much more.

A ball thunderously thrown into the hoop can swing momentum like nothing else. It can rally the troops, it can turn a lead into a blowout and it can tell the opponent, “good luck stopping us all game.”

This season, though, they have been a rarity.

Perhaps Stephens County is just spoiled. With last year’s senior class including guys like Jared Griffin (Duncan), Daniel McCoy (Duncan), Ryan Cox (Duncan), Corbin Byford (Velma-Alma), Eric Brownlee (Comanche) and Ronnie Keck (Bray-Doyle), who could elevate at a moment’s notice, maybe I just accustomed to seeing something that should be special and unique in high school basketball.

Whatever the case may be, I know that I am missing the high-flying action this year.

There are still a few players that have shown the ability to play above the rim — Jack Braught at Duncan and Jaz Gayanich at Velma-Alma to name two — but the list is much shorter this season.

 As someone who stands between 6-foot-2 and 6-3 and used to be able to play ever-so-slightly above the rim (these days I’d be lucky to touch it), I spent way too much time trying to dunk, when I should have been working on more important things like jump shooting. There is a proper balance, though, I’m sure, and being able to change the tone of a game on one play shouldn’t be overlooked.

Forward thinking

To be a great basketball player often means to put winning right now above everything else. Having a cutthroat attitude, determination and focus. (Think of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Kobe Bryant).

A trait that may be just as important, though less admired, is the ability to sacrifice immediate success in return for even greater success down the road. (Think of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who benched his best players at times last season, so they would be healthy enough to make a run to the Western Conference Finals last season).

The Duncan boys’ and girls’ teams are trying something similar at the high school level. They are not focusing on their current records. In fact, after several losses, their players and coaches have been surprisingly chipper. It’s because they know December and January don’t really matter. They are just working to be peaking in February, when the playoffs begin and when “important” games start.

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Sports
  • Demon golfers compete at Lincoln Park

    The Duncan boys golfers competed at a tournament at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City Thursday.
    Individual scores were Blake Graham with 76 and 79, Logan Harris with 76 and 75, Tyler Albin with 77 and 78, Christian Dructor with 78 and 86, and Carson Hogstad with 80 and 83.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 duncan track photo.jpg Track teams head to Norman

    The Duncan track athletes travel to Norman today for a meet at the University of Oklahoma.
    Duncan boys coach Todd Ledford said that the Demons will be one of just three Class 5A teams attending. The rest of the teams are 6A.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Demon baseball beats Plainview in extra innings

    The Duncan baseball team had to go extra innings and then hold off a late rally to win at Plainview 3-2 Thursday.
    The game was tied 1-1 after seven innings. The Demons broke the tie with two runs in the top of the eighth, but Plainview battled back to make it 3-2 in its half of the inning.

    April 18, 2014

  • More home tourney action awaits Demons

    Another weekend of home matches await the Duncan tennis teams.
    The BancFirst Tournament will be at the Duncan High School tennis courts, with the girls playing Friday and the boys Saturday. The tourneys come one week after Duncan hosted the Southern Oklahoma Invitational.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Empire baseball.jpg Bulldog pitching staff builds confidence

    Heading towards the postseason, Empire is closing in on the possibility of winning record thanks in large part to its improvements on defense.
    The Bulldogs (10-11) have cut down the errors from 10 or more a game to two or three a game. Coach Stefan Hunt said that’s led to the pitchers seeing some better results on the mound. Though, the pitchers have improved their game as well.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 duncan baseball photo.jpg Demons in close district race

    The Duncan baseball team is in a close race to finish in the top four in District 2-5A and earn a trip to regionals.
    Duncan is 7-3 in district and in third place. First-place Carl Albert has lost just one district game. The Titans split with second-place Chickasha, which also split with Duncan.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 jaz gayanich signing photo.jpg Gayanich to play for Panhandle State

    Velma-Alma senior Jaz Gayanich signed Wednesday to play basketball for Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell.
    Gayanich said Panhandle coach Jerry Olsen was upfront about his program and ideas, compared to other coaches Gayanich visited. Gayanich already knows what role he’s expected to play.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who knew John Humphrey respected him

    Duncan resident Rod Battles got to know John Humphrey pretty well.
    Battles first played Duncan High School baseball for Humphrey in 1965. He later returned to DHS, when Humphrey hired him as an assistant, and later head baseball coach. After both men retired, they became fishing buddies. Humphrey joined Battles and others for annual trips to Lake Texhoma.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 VA baseball Comets stay calm under pressure

    Lately, Velma-Alma baseball has made a habit of having some exciting finishes.
    In its home tournament, the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament, last weekend, it won four of five games. All of those victories came by less than five runs and two of them were by only one run.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Course challenges Lady Demons

    The Duncan girls golf team took sixth at the longest course it has played this year.
    KickingBird Golf Course is 5,300 yards. Add the windy conditions at the tournament hosted by Edmond Santa Fe and it made for a challenging day.

    April 17, 2014

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